Next time you catch yourself binge-watching shows on Netflix, be sure to check out the 2008 investigative mini docu-series, Edge of the Universe. The first episode focuses on the progress that astronomers have been making in identifying more planets that orbit distant stars. Of particular interest is whether Earth-like worlds might be discovered, given that none of the currently known planets are capable of support life.
Solar Light’s Model PMA2100 Dual-Input Data Logging Radiometer can be seen at approximately the 44:00 minute mark. This portion of the episode focuses on the planet as whole and how numerous variables effect it, such as climate shift, the tilt of the plant, the distance to and from the sun, and overall atmosphere. In the clip, Dr. Lynn Rothschild and her colleagues at NASA are conducting tests in extreme earth environments to find out under what conditions life could possibly survive on another planet. Dr. Rothschild collects samples from boiling noxious pools at Yellowstone National Park, which ultimately reveals that life can exist at 30 degrees Fahrenheit above boiling point with no oxygen, high salinity, and extreme acidity. The PMA2100 is often used with PMA sensors to measure the sun’s global radiation levels, or in Dr. Rothschild’s case, the solar ultraviolet radiation levels directly at the banks of these boiling noxious pools. Her focus then shifts as the scene concludes with her collecting rock samples by the pools.
At Solar Light we are excited to see our instruments being used to make advancements in the understanding of our planet and the potential of life beyond.